How Mood Fabrics Drives a 7% Conversion Rate on Email Campaigns

Friday, May 29, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Internet Retailer reports on how Listrak client Mood Fabrics saves time and boosts revenues with Recurring Automated Campaigns: 
May 28, 2015
BY STEFANY ZAROBAN Associate Director of Research 
The online retailer of fabrics and other sewing products says its conversion rate from targeted emails is 14% higher than standard campaigns broadcast to all customers on its list. 
About a year ago, Mood Fabrics received more than 20% of its e-commerce revenue from consumers clicking onto its site from its regular marketing emails touting discounts or the availability of new products. But company executives wanted to drive more sales from its email list and highlight additional items from its extensive inventory of 20,000 online SKUs without requiring busy staffers to hand-select products every time the retailer wanted to send an email to consumers.
To that end, Mood began sending automated recurring messages with the help of email marketing provider Listrak. The new system personalized email messages to each consumer based on products she had viewed on-site or purchased in the past, and automatically generated a set of products to present to each shopper, Mood Fabrics owner Eric Sauma says.
Mood’s emails to consumers are much more relevant now, Sauma says, as it’s able to tailor its messages to customers that are clothing designers, do-it-yourself shoppers or home sewers—three customer segments that tend to buy different types of fabrics.
One campaign, for example, showed consumers “Top Sellers This Month,” while another read, “See what’s new and trending at Mood Fabrics.”
Results of the new email strategy implemented in the third quarter of 2014 were immediate. The average revenue per email for three recurring automated campaigns was 3% higher than the average for Mood’s standard broadcast emails it sends to all consumers, and the conversion rate was 14% higher. Average order value was $5 higher, and the recurring message accounted for 5% of Mood’s total e-commerce revenue during the period. Mood now gets about 28% of its online sales from emails.
One campaign Mood sent to shoppers after they made a purchase, which read, “Like what you bought? Check out these other recommended products,” drove a 7.23% conversion rate, Mood says.
Mood Fabrics, made famous by being featured on the popular television program “Project Runway,” says it pays Listrak $3,000 to $5,000 per month for its services, depending on the number of emails it sends.
The retailer operates one physical store each in New York City and Los Angeles. It gets about 20% of its total revenue from the web, Sauma says.


Segmenting to Succeed: Marketing to Gen Z

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

You’re familiar with your customers. They already know you, buy from you, and (hopefully) like you. But what about all those people who aren’t engaging? For the “non-customer,” a little extra love (in the form of some clever segmentation) could go a long way.
Once you identify a hearty chunk of non-customers, select a portion to target. Slice your email list accordingly. You wouldn’t describe what you do at work the same way to your boss as you would to a child. Why would you sell a product to them in the same style just because they both have an email address? With segmentation you don’t have to. Armed with the pain points of that specific group, you can sell accordingly.
Let’s start with a hypothetical segmentation by age. Through data you’ve collected from email subscribers regarding their birthday, we’ll isolate the “Under 25” crowd. We know Generation Z was raised within a cradle of technology. They have been over-exposed to the digital medium and have perfected selective attentiveness. If you combine this with a distrust of structure an average digital marketer could face real obstacles. Luckily you’re no run-of-the-mill marketer!
Here are your quick tips on using existing knowledge about the iGeneration to earn that invaluable youth buy-in.

1. It's Upfront

When dealing with a generation distrustful of authority, it’s best to focus on first building brand trust. I recently spoke to a friend about an online purchase and he explained that he bought the item on Amazon—even though it was more expensive—because “Amazon just seems friendly or something.” Makes sense to me.
So how does that translate to your emails? Here’s a compare and contrast.
Roundabout Subject Line: Uh oh! Did you have technical difficulties at checkout?
Upfront Subject Line: You left stuff in your cart—just wanted to remind you!
Both of these subjects probably look familiar, but they resonate differently. Adopting an existential air in your non-transactional emails could be a great way to be forthcoming. What’s more, it avoids what I’ll dub the deadly sin of email marketing to youth: appearing like your trying (and failing) to trick the recipient into believing something. (For example: Writing “Just for you, <NAME>!” in a subject line to make a marketing email be confused for an email from a friend.)

2. It Tickles Your Brain

Teens are infamous for ignoring things they don’t want to deal with and, sometimes for these subscribers, marketing emails fall into the “ignore” pile. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: make your email worth opening. Up the creative game and have fun with your emails. That may mean an interoffice competition or some market research with your coworkers’ teenage children, but you’ll be amazed how your content evolves. Here’s a quirky example from Bonobos following a cart I abandoned earlier in the week as well as a riddle campaign from LivingSocial.


3. It Feels Human

Idealists at heart, a huge proportion of today’s college graduates are pursuing long-term volunteer programs before entering the workforce. Even in the era of technology, people go to great lengths to connect with other people–not so for template HTML. Luckily, your company is madeof people. Why disguise that?
There’s no room left for humanity when perfection, omnipresence, and elusiveness are a brand’s staples. It’s time to introduce your customers to your company just as you would introduce family over Thanksgiving dinner: through sharing analogies, featuring real employees, and giving customers a behind-the-scenes look at your facilities. Sorry iStockphoto, you just won’t cut it.


So that’s that. Throw out some conventional wisdoms in favor of child-like humility in your youth-centric marketing, folks. Gen Z has arrived and it’s here for… well… a lifetime!
Questions on segmentation? Let us know.


Multichannel Merchant: giggle Gets Visual with #gigglepics Campaign

Friday, May 22, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Multichannel Merchant recently posted this article highlighting what client giggle is now able to do in email with the help of Listrak and Olapic. Stay tuned for more on this and see it in action at our IRCE booth #1113!
May 19, 2015 By Daniela Forte    
Online baby products retailer Giggle is using social media in a big way to personalize the shopping experience for customers.
With the use of Instagram, the retailer incorporates images submitted directly from their customers or tagged on Instagram into their product and email campaigns.
Giggle launched a #gigglepics campaign where customers can share their Instagram and Twitter photo to the giggle website or use the hashtag on their social accounts.   The photos were then filtered through to the website and tagged with featured giggle products.
“This tagging is what allows us to integrate social content with more data-driven programs, like auto-trigger emails,” said Shawna Hausman, vice-president of ecommerce and digital marketing for giggle.
The images help giggle make a personalized email even more personal.
“An auto-trigger email campaign doesn’t have to be restricted to a grid of products. You can alternate between something that is quite functional and something that is more emotional,” said Hausman of the emails. “On the one hand, you have auto-trigger emails that are highly personalized and functional – but also quite sterile. People like the fact that they are tailored to them, and that they do make their lives easier. I’m sure we have all received an abandoned cart email and thought – ‘oh yeah, I wanted to buy that!’”
Hausman said on the other side of the spectrum, you have batch and blast emails, which are highly designed and highly emotional, but they are the opposite of personal – they speak to millions of readers the exact same way.
“We are trying to do something that sits directly in the middle – giving people the personalization they appreciate, with the emotional connection they crave,” said Hausman.
Giggle also has incentivized social sharing across the site, where it asks customers to share their favorite products with their friends and followers on social media. This activity powers the “Trending Now” gallery where customers can view Top Trending product based on number of shares, comments and purchases.
“We have also taken the trending module and created an email version of it, which we incorporate at the bottom of every email we send out.” said Hausman. “With email, people are no longer afraid to scroll, which is why we use the length to provide our customers with additional relevant content.”
The company incorporates images submitted directly by their customers or tagged on Instagram into their product pages and email campaigns.
“We have been working our email service provider Listrak, to build a robust auto-trigger email program.  Most recently, we integrated product recommendations into our email program as well,” said Hausman.  This is not new news. But what is new is combining the power of algorithms and data with the richness of user generated content within the email.  We are using the framework of our auto-triggered email campaigns and layering in Instagram images, which are already tagged and cataloged via Olapic.”


Apple Watch, What are We Going to do with You?

Friday, May 22, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

The email world has been scrambling to learn the impact that Apple Watch will have on emails. We’ve kept up on some recent findings from around the email community, and decided on a course of action for our emails. Here’s the lowdown on this new gadget.

Get Used to Plain Text

The first thing you’ll notice is that Apple Watch isn’t going to load your nicely designed, html email. When the watch detects any image it will skip the html file and instead jump to the plain text version.

Tracking Opens

The most frustrating feature that will not be supported is the ability to track opens. Opens are tracked when images are loaded within an email. Since the watch will not load inline images, an open can’t be tracked.

Plain Text Best Practices

Listrak gives the option to add a plain text version of your message from the New Message page. While it has always been considered a best practice to use this feature, Apple Watch makes it more of a necessity.
Some more limitations of the watch have forced us to look at plain text in a new way. Some marketers try to replicate all of the content in their plain text message, including links. Apple Watch doesn’t have a browser, so links become greyed out and unusable. Only phone numbers, dates, and addresses will link to the corresponding apps on the watch.


This shift in mentality will force email marketers to get creative with their plain text. It’s best to think of plain text as a way to get the attention of your customers, not to engage them directly. Focus on the most relevant content and place an emphasis on a call to action that drives your customers to open the email on an html supported device.
“Get 10% off. See your coupon code when you view this email on an html supported device.”
“The full version of this message isn’t available on Apple Watch. But you can read it on your computer or mobile device.”
Subject line and preheader text are now more important than ever. Both are still visible on the watch’s inbox. Keep your subject line to a minimum length and add urgency to remind the reader to check when they have another device available.
Avoid using unnecessary special characters to add breaks in content within the plain text. Too many line breaks make it difficult to read the mesage.


It’s always a good idea to use plain text whether you’re concerned with supporting Apple Watch or not. Several other devices will only display plain text as well, such as Blackberry phones. Many inboxes give users the option to view plain text by default. This is preferred by some readers. Also, SPAM filters often check to make sure a plain text version of the email is included. Without it, some deliverability issues can occur.
Apple Watch may be a step back in rendering support for out emails, but it’s a good reminder to setup plain text and consider the importance of our main calls to action.


Customer Reviews Boost Clickthrough by 25% in Ecommerce Product Emails

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

MarketingSherpa recently released the following case study featuring Listrak client Naturopathica: 
SUMMARY: Customers can be a wealth of content for marketers, and natural cosmetics company Naturopathica discovered that combining feedback and email can be especially compelling for consumers.

The company decided to use reviews to nurture its consumers who wanted to be educated about products before purchasing, increasing the clickthrough rate for a review campaign by 25%.                                                                 
by Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content

The Customer

Naturopathica was founded in 1995 in East Hampton when founder and CEO Barbara Close opened a healing arts center and spa. The spa focused on holistic health and well-being and eventually evolved into creating its own products. The company has grown out of the East Hampton spa to be a brand that is in hotel and destination resort spas throughout North America.
“[Close] was looking for products that really served her clients and didn’t find them on [the] market, so she began developing her own,” Sarah Falcon, Director of Marketing and Communications, Naturopathica, said.
Naturopathica’s environmental standards are organic and natural-cosmetics-certified by a French certification body. It is a specific and comprehensive process that includes the approval of ingredients all the way into the manufacturing and packaging of products.
Because of this extra effort, Naturopathica appeals to a specific consumer who is concerned about what products they buy and needs to feel well-educated about all purchases.


Falcon joined Naturopathica in 2010 alongside the launch of the first fully-operational ecommerce site for the brand, which came during a rebranding of the product packaging and line.
“There was a Naturopathica website, but no one was putting marketing effort behind it. It was churning through some sales because it was a place people could purchase the product, but there wasn’t really an ecommerce marketing structure,” Falcon said.
In regards to coming to the marketing team to support that digital push, Falcon said the focus was on ramping up “our direct-to-consumer activities as well as growing in the spa channels. This year, we’re looking at continuing to do that and grow our footprint in the spa world … and also doing much more in the online space to raise awareness to capture conversions on our site.”
There has been a lot of growth in the past five years, she added, and as they continue to move marketing activities toward consumer-driven marketing, the challenge has been “looking to see where we can speak to our consumers.”
“Whether they had a treatment in our spa in East Hampton or visited our website, how can we make sure that we’re carrying messages to them and really providing them resources and education and information that helps them achieve their well-being and get inspired and intrigued by the brand? That’s where we are,” she said.
Email, Falcon added, has been “a really huge driver both in sales and in telling the brand story.”
Because Naturopathic customers are specifically looking for environmentally conscious products, they are generally looking for a lot of information before purchasing. By providing that content, the marketing team can turn them into long-time customers.
“That’s really been a huge platform for us in content marketing. We’re looking more at what we can do on our website in the next few years to really drive up our content marketing activity,” she said, adding that “using content and using email lets us tell those stories that are a little bit more complicated.”


Because both content and email are such a large part of Naturopathica’s ecommerce strategy, “We’re really looking to integrate,” Falcon said.  
The team had seen feedback coming through customer service. According to Falcon, consumers “really like the products and we were getting positive feedback,” she added.
In response to this positive feedback, over the past year, the team worked on building out a process for capturing that information and publishing it.
“We started a plan of doing emails that highlighted reviews and testimonials of our top products. We’d send out emails to customers who had purchased products in the last six to 12 months to solicit star ratings — a one to five star rating — and feedback on specific prompts,” she said.
Step #1. Begin building feedback into product emailsI
Initially, the team began collecting feedback from an initial email send featuring a survey. The email was soliciting comments along the lines of, “The thing I love most this product  … ” or “I would recommend this product to a friend because … ”
“What was interesting was we actually saw sales coming off those survey requests, which is always interesting. Just … the reminder to think about the product experience was a prompt to purchase,” Falcon said.
They began populating the website with those ratings and reviews on specific products, while using the email marketing content as well.
“We started linking the ratings and reviews in the emails to what you would see on the product page on the site,” she said. “Mainly we’re using it in e-blast — our promotional product-focused emails that go out to either a segment of the list or just the [entire] list.”
Also, within the regular email schedule are specific product highlights. The team began using the product testimonials in those sends as well


One email, with the subject line “5 Star Savings,” featured Naturopathica’s five-star rated Plant Stem Cell Booster Serum.
The copy reads, “The reviews are in.  See what’s being said about our best-selling Plant Stem Cell Booster Serum.”
There are three customer reviews, all giving five stars, that surround the product image, and one reads, “My skin feels softer; looks brighter. I look good when I wake up in the morning!”
The bottom of the email gives a coupon code for 10 or 15 percent off, depending on what size the customer purchases.
“We started that process early this year. We’ve really ramped it up in Q2 and Q3 of this year. We’ve just started playing with it. What we’re looking to do next is looking at where there are more opportunities to populate those reviews along the purchase process like an abandoned cart email … [and] plot those things along the consumer purchase path,” she said.
Step #2. Insert social elements into email sendsTo continue fusing email and content, the team began pulling from social media for compelling email sends. Most of this was user-generated content, such as uploads from Instagram.
For one email send, with the subject line “InstaFaves!,” the team featured their favorite fan pictures of Naturopathica products, listing both the product name and the Instagram user who posted it.
“We pulled from our Instagram and from Instagram’s photos that were #naturopathica that featured our product … ” Falcon said.
The copy reads, “Better than a selfie. Some of our favorite Naturopathica images on Instagram!”  
Beneath each of the four pictures is a link to shop for that particular product, and at the bottom of the email are coupon codes to receive either $10 off $100 or $20 off $200 spent. The top of the send reminds customers that they will receive three free samples with every order and free shipping on orders over $75.
Customers are also encouraged to “Share with us. Please use #naturopathica to help us find your gorgeous photos. @Naturopathica.”
For a flash sale, the marketing team decided to make the email send a flashback to an original product. With the subject line “ #TBT Flashback Sale,” the team infused social media elements from the beginning.


The copy highlighted free shipping with a coupon code and featured one of the brand’s first skin care lotions. From there, the email pulls a quote from a 2008 Refinery29 article, raving about the lotion.
Step #3. Combine reviews and social media
The brand had 20,000 Facebook page likes and decided to leverage those followers for their feedback.
For one email send in the campaign, the subject line was, “Customers Rave.” This subject line utilized a longer review focusing on a particular product — the Vitamin C Revitalizing Lotion — and is attributed to “Carleigh R., Facebook.”
The email features a large image of the product with the review listed next to it and again features a coupon code at the bottom for customers to redeem with product purchase.
Also, the bottom of the email features links to all of the Naturopathica social media platforms.


“The good problem that we found was that we have more great content than we can use at a time. I think there’s really an opportunity in integrating social proof in more places along the communication process and the purchase process and finding ways to leverage it through the consumer pathways,” Falcon said.
One of the biggest challenges for a skin care product online, she added, is making a credible case for purchasing to an ideal customer who may not have physically touched the product before. Customer reviews can be a powerful tool and more trustworthy to those customers.
The results the team was able to see for the emails in this campaign were:
  • An average open rate increase of 6%
  • An average clickthrough rate increase of 25%
  • An average 10% higher read rate
  • An AOV (average order value) that was 8% higher than the average of emails overall
“It’s such a personal product, unlike an outfit you can easily return or even a shampoo that, if you have a bad hair day, you can wash it out. With skincare, you might have a bad skin week. It helped us tell a story about our product in a way that wasn’t just us speaking to the product but showing actual people that had an authentic experience with the product,” Falcon concluded.
Creative Samples
  1. 5 Star Savings email
  2. InstaFaves email
  3. #TBT email
  4. Customers Rave email


Are Your Transactional Messages Ready for the Holidays?

Friday, May 08, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Transactional messages are a key customer touch point and one that many retail marketers have no visibility into as the messages are sometimes sent out through the retailer’s ecommerce platform instead of its ESP.
As you prepare for the holidays, take a look at your transactional messages. Do they present your brand appropriately and are they consistent with your other marketing campaigns? Are you using them to acquire new subscribers and cross or up sell? If not, it’s time for an update.
Transactional emails have some of the highest open rates. And, unlike other email messages, customers actually hold on to these messages and use them as reference points. Here are some ways to improve upon your transactional messages:
Acquisition – don’t assume shoppers are opting-in to your email list when they place a purchase. Instead, include a prominent call-to-action in your transactional messages asking customers to subscribe, like in this example from Ballard Designs:


Cross-Sell and Upsell – Present the transactional information first, but use the rest of the space to recommend related products based on the customer’s purchase or browse history. Studies show that the majority of second purchases occur the SAME DAY as the first purchase, so take advantage of the opportunity to get shoppers back to your site to make an additional purchase.


Build Loyalty – Keep customers shopping by including loyalty points and rewards in your transactional campaigns. The easier you make it for customers to redeem points, the more they’ll shop with you.


Other ideas for transactional campaigns
Transactional campaigns aren’t limited to order and shipping confirmations. Here are some ideas to get even more mileage out of these triggered campaigns:
  • Confirmation messages – order, pre-order, shipping, delivery, scheduled appointment
  •  Notifications – cancellation, return, refund
  • Receipts/payments – eReceipt, payment authorization, payment decline/fraud prevention
  • Account – online account creation, password request, email change, profile/preference update
  • Additional ideas – in-store pick up availability, eGift card received/used, trade-in request
Questions about your transactional messages? Let us know!


Influencing Purchase Decisions using Customer Browse Behavior

Monday, May 04, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

It’s no secret that customers value personalized product recommendations, both online as they shop and in email campaigns. And, according to a Harris Poll survey conducted earlier this year, nearly 70% of online shoppers said they appreciate when the recommendations contain merchandise they previously viewed on a retailer’s site.
Personalized product recommendations offer a number of benefits to both shoppers and retailers, including:
  • Increased product discovery
  • Increased loyalty and happy customers
  • Increased average order value
  • Increased items per order
  • Increased time on site
  • Increased revenue
With all of these increases, you might be wondering if there is a downside to automated product recommendations. There are some metrics that will decrease, including:
  • Decreased bounce rate
  • Decreased IT costs / time to design and manually curate recommendations

Browse and Abandon Email Campaigns

Browse and Abandon emails have come a long way. The first attempt at these campaigns were considered to be creepy by many recipients, as the messages contained the picture of the merchandise that was browsed with language like “come back and have another look” or “thanks for your interest in this merchandise”. Shoppers were a bit put off by these campaigns as they were unexpected somewhat alarming. They felt as though big brother was watching and the experience wasn’t great.
Marketers were quick to adjust their browse and abandon email campaigns and turn them into useful communications for their customers. From a simple “continue shopping” email, like in the example from Jambu, to the “interested in console tables” that include both browsed merchandise and related recommendations, like in the example from Hayneedle, these updated browse and abandon campaigns put the customer first and make a great impression.



For more examples and information, read Donna Fulmer’s blog “What’s working in browse and abandon campaigns”.
Browse and Abandon email campaigns can be similar to shopping cart abandonment remarketing series where shoppers are sent two or three – or more – messages designed to engage customers and take them back to the retailer’s website.  For example, Cultures for Health sends a five message browse and abandon nurture campaign. The first, third and fifth messages recommend products that the recipient’s recently viewed on-site. The second and fourth messages recommend products based on the “purchased this / purchased that” algorithm. This personalized campaign increased email revenue 60%.
Messages 1, 3 and 5


Message 1 - sent 12 hours after abandonment
Subject line  “Get started making healthy cultured foods today!”
Recommended Products: Based on recent browse history
Message 3 - sent 2 days after message two
Subject line “Start culturing today!”
Recommended Products: Based on recent browse history
Message 5 - sent 2 days after message 4
Subject line “Are you still interested in making cultured food?”
Recommended Products: Based on recent browse history
Messages 2 and 4


Message 2 - sent 2 days after message one
Subject line “Check out these products selected just for you!”
Recommended Products: Purchased this / purchased that
Message 4 - sent 2 days after message 3
Subject line “We have some great suggestions just for you!”
Recommended Products: Purchased this / purchased that

The Huge Impact of using Browse Behavior

It is common for less than 50% of a retailer’s list to be made up of customers who purchased at least once. Retailers can’t rely on only using purchase history data to inform product recommendations as they’ll be missing a huge segment of their audience who is still in market. That’s why the ability to incorporate browse history into email messages and online recommendations is so powerful.
According to a Harris Poll report from the January 2015, 80% of shoppers find it useful when retailers send emails containing product recommendations based on their past purchases and 71% like it when the emails contain recommendations based on products they browsed but didn’t purchase online.
Personalized emails have higher click and conversion rates and average order values. When personalized product recommendations are used in shopping cart remarketing campaigns, revenue can increase 19.1% on average. And emails that contain products that the recipient previously browsed can have up to 420% increase in clicks. But those aren’t the only benefits. Personalized emails also build customer loyalty by helping customers discover new merchandise that meets their specific criteria and needs.

How it Works

Listrak’s functionality makes it easy to automate this personalized content. You can build merchandising blocks with individual subscriber browse history, using up to the 25 most recent products browsed. And you can set specific parameters for inventory considerations to ensure you aren’t recommending products that are low in stock or have been discontinued.
You aren’t limited to only including previously browsed merchandise. You can easily set up merchandising blocks using recipes such as “viewed this / purchased that” or similar behaviors. Combining purchase intent (what the customer viewed) with the wisdom of the crowd (what other customers purchased after viewing or purchasing the same product) has shown increases in conversion rates as high as 59%.
The personalized content can be used in both online and email recommendations, ensuring your content is customized and consistent across channels.



Segmenting by Browse Behavior

Listrak is transforming the way retailers deliver highly targeted email messages to their customers by making it easy for retailers to segment their customers based on browse behavior. This means retail marketers can now capitalize on their shoppers’ expressed purchase intent shown by their most recent browsing behavior and their past purchases to deliver the right message that will move them along the path towards their next purchase.
These segments can be combined with email data, such as last open or click date or subscribe date, as well as purchase history data, such as last purchase date, AOV, most purchased brand and last item purchased, and preference center data, such as zip code, gender or birthday, to get even more granular.


Sample Segments

Can be combined to create highly-targeted groups
Online behavior:
  • Last online browse date
  • Products most recently browsed (up to 25)
  • Category, department or brand most recently browsed
  • Category, department or brand most frequently browsed
  • Recency: first or last purchase date; projected next purchase date
  • Frequency: total number of purchases
  • Monetary: total amount of spend; AOV
  • Categories, departments and brands purchased
  • Products purchased
  • Gender
  • Subscribe date
  • Last open, read or click date
  • Last send date
  • Email client
Preference Center:
  • Gender
  • Zip code
  • Region / Country
  • Birthday
  • Memberships
  • Brand / category preference
  • Cadence (daily, weekly, monthly)